One of the most annoying things about home maintenance is when you go to the bathroom, and a frequent staple here is a shower leaking behind wall. A shower leaking behind wall could pose serious security problems for your home if you indulge it to become worse. But don’t fret. Fix a leaky shower can be done by yourself by following simple steps. Learn how to fix shower leak with this article. Before that, let’s see what will happen if you let the leaking alone.
- Dangers of Shower Leaking Behind Wall
- Signs of Shower Leaking Behind Wall
- How to Determine the Exact Leaking Spot
- How to Fix Shower Leaking Behind Wall
- Shower Leaking Behind Wall Cost
Dangers of Shower Leaking Behind Wall
“My shower is leaking through the floor. Is it dangerous?” If you are asking this question, then the answer is affirmative. Leaks are dangerous, be it a shower leaking behind tiles, shower dripping, leaking pipe in wall, leaking shower valve, etc. Some of the dangers of a shower leak are:
- Damage your walls.
- Rotted floors.
- Too much mold can cause respiratory issues (nasal congestion, wheezing, coughing, sneezing).
- Attract termites, hence resulting in infestation and furniture damage.
- Attract cockroaches.
Given these things, aside from fixing the shower leak, you might also need to fix the wall (replace drywall), get fungicides, and change support fixtures, especially if the leaks have been going on for far too long.
Signs of Shower Leaking Behind Wall
A leak behind shower wall could be hard to notice at times, and that makes it tricky. However, knowing it is imperative. Moreover, knowing the signs of a shower leaking behind wall could save you both time and money. So, how to find a water leak inside a wall? Or to say how to tell if a shower is leaking behind wall? Easy, look for the following signs:
- If the bath is on a higher floor, there could be some water dripping from the ceiling
- Water stains on the ceiling, the walls, or even on the floor.
- The drywall in front of the valve becomes spongy.
- Mold growth.
- The bathroom smells moldy.
How to Determine the Exact Leaking Spot
As stated, finding the source could be tricky. The water stains could not always direct you to the location. The more practical thing to do to pinpoint the source or exact leaking spot is to remove the shower plate and the area behind the valve. Once removed, you will now be able to inspect the pipes more thoroughly. If you think this process is too tedious, look for plumbing access (present in modern homes) that is usually placed behind the shower. Now, if there is no plumbing access, you might need to cut an inspection window. Once there’s a window, feel for any water trickling on the sides of the pipes; if you are not able to feel the exact location through this, use a flashlight and mirror to ascertain minute droplets in the pipe joints.
How to Fix Shower Leaking Behind Wall
If the leak is not happening for a long time, fixing it on your own is still feasible. To do it, pay attention to the following:
Look to the areas where the signs are most prevalent. The signs can help you determine the location of the leak. However, there are times when the signs are actually pointing in the opposite direction.
Afterward, find the exact location of the leak through the ways enumerated above (inspection window) Inspect the tub drain for water stains and the copper pipes for any unusual color.
Try turning the shower on, you will be able to see where the leak is coming from. Check both the valve and the pipes. And if the valve and the pipes are not the culprits, then it could be the shower arm. Check the shower arm and fix it (pay special attention to loose screws).
If you determined that the reason for the leak is a loose pipe joint, elbow connection, shower arm, or just a screw, then you can simply use a pipe wrench to tighten it. Wrap the pipes with some plumbing tape will help to tighten them more closely. You can do this confidently as tightening will not affect the other parts.
- Replace pipes.
if the leak is persistent, there may have a puncture in a pipe or between the pipes. It may also be the galvanized pipe that leaks, you can probably replace the pipe by yourself. But if the pipe is soldered, you will have to call the professionals.
- Call the Plumber.
If you meet the problem mentioned above, or there is still a leak, it would be better to call a professional plumber.
Shower Leaking Behind Wall Cost
Wall repair caused by leaks typically ranges from $150 – $750. Fixing a shower leaking behind wall could cost you little or much. Why is it like this? Due to the duration of the leak, there is no single cost for fixing a shower leaking behind wall or shower pipe leaking behind tiles. The duration of the leak determines the damage, as it affects more than the wall.
Though you can fix the problem yourself, especially if you spot it early, it is no longer advisable if the leak has been happening for a long period of time. Wood structures can be severely affected by leaks, and these problems are already beyond DIY fixing; it needs a licensed plumber. Removing the molds that grew in the wall also means further costs as it requires you to remove a big area of your drywall.
Shower leaking behind wall is a common matter in home maintenance. You can always fix a leaky shower on your own with the instruction presented in this article. When the problems are beyond your DIY capability, asking for professional help in areas is the recommended thing to do.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You can tell if the wall paint or wallpaper is peeling or mildewed. And the floor might be stained as well because of the leaking drop. There will be a musty smell in the bathroom if such a situation happens.
Yes, a shower leak from a shower head can also cause a leak in that part of the bathroom though it is not that frequent. This is possible as the leak from the head can travel to the shower elbow and from there continue to the wall. And once in the wall, it can slowly damage it.